Several aspects of the Kyoto Protocol really annoy me. For a start how can we solve this problem if major emitting economies have not taken on any obligations? It looks as though the US will take on commitments to whatever replaces Kyoto but there seems no chance off China, India and Brazil etc taking on commitments.
If China and Inida especially do not come on board, it is all a waste of time and money. China has replaced the US as the world’s biggest emitter.
Why is there such inconsistency over points of obligation? Why are consumers held responsible to the release of GHGs from oil, gas and coal and not the producing countries, when the country that cuts down a tree is held responsible for emitting the full amount of carbon stored in that tree from the time that it is cut down? An importing country faces the full liability for emissions from gas, oil and coal, but exporting country faces the full liability for wood. And why does the exporting country face the full liability for its agricultural emissions as opposed to the country that is going to actually consume the product that was produced as a result of all those emissions having been made? So New Zealand imports oil from country x and bears the full costs of releasing the GHGs from burning that oil in New Zealand. We export meat to country x, but also face the full cost of producing all the GHGs released while producing this meat.
Kyoto was a very flawed response to climate change. Even if fully implemented, it will only lower average mean temperature by 0.07 degrees by 2050.
Charles also raises some fascinating points over stock and methane. Would be good to see a point by point response to his questions by someone who can.